The Petrol Pump Association of Bhopal and the district administration have locked horns on the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ drive started by Madhya Pradesh government.
Last week, the MP government issued an order that two-wheeler riders would not be able to buy petrol unless they wore helmets, according to Section 10 of the Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel Oil Order, 1980.
While petrol pump owners want the police to provide protection to them at the pumps as the two-wheeler riders ‘misbehave’ with them due to the drive, the police claim that the owners are unnecessarily making an issue out of it. Petrol pump association president Ajay Singh said: “On Sunday morning, a man, who had come to buy petrol, misbehaved with an attendant at the MP Nagar petrol pump as the attendant refused to fill petrol because the man didn’t wear a helmet. The matter reached the police who, instead of taking our side, asked the attendant to sit in the police station.”
A petrol pump owner says on condition of anonymity that the district collector had clearly said that a constable would be deployed at each petrol pump to provide protection. “But even after one week, they didn’t provide any kind of security. If the police themselves fail to make the helmet compulsory, how will it be easy for us? In the absence of security, we won’t be able to continue this drive.” Bhopal collector Nishant Warwade says he was not in town when the incident occurred but had instructed the police and the administration to take stern swift action.
However, MP Nagar police station town inspector Brijesh Bhargava says: “The association is twisting the matter as they have problem in holding the drive. The dispute is over the proper queue of vehicles at the petrol pump and not due to the helmet.”
When asked about security, Bhargava says they haven’t received any instructions in this regard.